Our inaugural class of students has excitedly begun the clerkship years of their medical education. Bringing with them a strong foundation of medical knowledge and early clinical exposure, they will gain substantial hands-on experience learning alongside our clinical faculty in BC Interior hospitals and clinics. The race is now on to select their residency path and many are focused on maximizing their learning opportunities to assist in their future career decisions.
It is quite remarkable when reflecting back on the amount of time and hard work invested by our faculty, staff, and program stakeholders in expanding the distributed MD Undergraduate Program to the Interior. Our collaborative partnership with the Interior Health Authority and ongoing support from the communities in which we operate continue to be key contributors to our success. We also recognize and value the role our students have played in helping us to refine and build a top notch medical program. The collective feedback from students across our distributed sites has been incredibly positive and a strong reinforcement for all of our efforts.
With the recent admission of our third cohort of students, 96 medical undergraduates are now enrolled with the Southern Medical Program (SMP). The sheer demand for teaching capacity across our sites remains an ever-present priority – especially with the growing need to create new residency spots and programs. It is vitally important that the need to grow always be balanced with the current demands placed upon our clinical faculty. We are incredibly fortunate to have an engaged medical community that is truly invested in training the next generation of physicians for our province.
We are now set to embark on an exciting new chapter for our program with the creation of the research arm of the SMP. With a focus on chronic disease prevention, we look forward to future collaborations with researchers from across UBC Okanagan and Interior Health. Ultimately, our goal is to deliver front-line research that advances the health of individuals and communities from a local to international level.
Allan R. Jones, MD, FRCPC
Regional Associate Dean, Interior, UBC Faculty of Medicine
and Associate Vice-Provost, Medical Sciences, UBC Okanagan’s campus